Of course, 9 out of 10 winoes in the town think this too, as it turns out. Who knew? There were plenty of benches and it was just sheer bad luck that a coterie of the perpetually pissed decided to plonk themselves down on the bench cati-corner to me and to start arguing about...? Beer? Jenniver? Korn? Who knows, but there was some kind of berating going on with a Greek chorus of supporters of either side. It appeared that a friend of the group had... something... and there was some dispute as to who was going with him for that something. It was loud, it was staggery and I found myself wondering if they would notice and take it ill that the girl on the next bench suddenly left for another bench. Man-with-something got up and strode across to another bench as wino number one followed him. There was shouting. Wino number one scuttled back. Wino number two then started to follow Man-with-something. There was shouting again and #2 scuttled back only to be replaced by #1 in the process. Then they all joined him. I settled back down to my book once I was satisfied that they hadn't all decamped for a scrap (this has been known to happen).
The next person to come along and bother me was a young woman in an islamic headscarf. She smiled, I smiled and then she offered me a pice of paper bearing the image of a small child with a request for money to help care for said small child. Suffice to say, the message was printed, the picture was photocopied and the whole card was laminated. This kind of thing screams 'con' to me. She asked for money; I told her that I had none. She asked again; I repeated that I had none. She sat down next to me and asked me for money; I repeated, politely but firmly, that I was very sorry, but I didn't have any money. She then asked if I would go and buy some Pampers for the baby. Oh. Moral qualms came up then and I wondered if I should just fork over 50 cents and be done with it or go and buy nappies any old how... but evil, child-of-Thatcher Marjory won out and I said again that I was broke. She then suggested that I could pay with a card... I said that I didn't have a card because... I was a foreigner. I suggested that she could go to the manse (handily located behind the church) and she poo-pooed the idea before asking me for money again. Several times more I attempted to persuade her that I was a financially impecunious individual with no EC Geldkarte, before she got the message and left. Maybe she was honest and I am a cynical and twisted soul, but...
The next person who happened along was a guy who wanted to know if I had a bottle opener for his beer. Erm... no. I did have a lighter, however, and this sufficed for his purpose.
The pigeons got some of my bun. It was easier, quicker and less painful that way.
I did get some reading done and had some quality time in the sun and was quite relaxed and happy before I got on the bus to go and see Mitch and go home. Aside from the obvious, it was a good afternoon. And it appears that I left in the nick of time, as about the time my bus arrived, so did an ambulance and some policemen heading wino-wards as apparently some entente or other had broken down.
I need a good, safe park, methinks.